Toast Of New York set for Churchill Downs date after Lingfield workout
It's all systems go for Toast Of New York’s latest American adventure after he delighted trainer Jamie Osborne in a final workout at Lingfield on Tuesday.
The Al Shaqab-owned seven-year-old will fly out to the US on Saturday week and contest the Grade 3 $200,000 Lukas Classic at Churchill Downs on September 29, in which he may face Dubai Golden Shaheen scorer Mind Your Biscuits, before a potential second tilt at the Breeders' Cup highlight on November 3.
Toast Of New York is a general 66-1 shot for the Breeders’ Cup Classic, in which he was agonisingly denied by Bayern four years ago.
A trip to the States was pencilled in for earlier in the summer but Osborne gave the 2014 UAE Derby winner, who finished last in the Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park in January, more time to recover from a gelding operation.
Jimmy McCarthy, former jump jockey and assistant to Osborne, will look after the globetrotter during his time on the US east coast and he partnered him alongside the Hollie Doyle-ridden stablemate Hathal at Lingfield.
Osborne said on Wednesday: “In hindsight we bit off more than we could chew in the Pegasus but it wasn't helped by the fact he thought he was still a stallion on the day. He wasted so much energy trying to look for a girlfriend that we knew we needed a miracle by the time the race was off.
"We decided a gelding operation would give him the best chance of showing he still retains his ability and give us a bit of sport around the world, and it took him a while to get over the procedure, as you would expect at his age.
"We were never quite feeling that we had him where we needed him to risk putting him on a plane earlier in the summer, but we’re exceptionally happy with how he’s going now and his work yesterday was super."
Osborne added: “We’ll have to see how he gets on in the Lukas Classic – it's inevitable there will be an element of rustiness – before we cement our plan for a next run, but the option of the Breeders’ Cup Classic is there if he shows he’s as good as he used to be.
“The Al Shaqab team are very enthusiastic about getting him back on the track and seeing what he can do and we’re looking forward to it.”
Toast Of New York will forever be the apple of Osborne’s eye, although the Lambourn trainer is happy to keep his distance.
Osborne said: “He’s pretty anti-social. I wouldn’t want to have to look after him every day. He’s double-barrelled me across the box a couple of times, so I leave that to Jimmy [McCarthy] now. It’s safer that way.”
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